Former East Islip High School football star Jim Panagos, who was a first-team all-state player during his time with the Redmen, has been named the defensive line coach for Rutgers University's Scarlet Knights.
After graduating from East Islip in 1989, the Brooklyn native attended and played football at the University of Maryland in College Park. Panagos majored in criminal justice and was a two-time letter-winner at defensive tackle, leading the UM Terrapins in sacks during his senior year.
Panagos taught math and coached football at the C.R. James Alternative School in Tampa, Fla. and worked for Safelite AutoGlass before returning to the University of Maryland as an assistant defensive line coach. He joined the staff of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings in 2002, where he later served as the team's asssistant defensive line coach and assistant special teams coach.
In 2007, Panagos began a five-year stint as defensive line coach for the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he contributed immensely to the team's renaissance and three bowl appearances. In 2009, FootballScoop.com named him Defensive Line Coach of the Year.
Coaching at Rutgers, based in New Brunswick, N.J. and often called "the birthplace of college football," is the culmination of a long and productive association with football that began in East Islip. In a statement, Panagos said "This is my dream job."
Panagos and his wife Maureen have three children: Jack, Hayden and Olivia.
To read more, go to the official statement